1. What Am I working on now or just finished?
Currently my magnus opus, a trilogy called Grumbles: The Novel. Book One Take A Pill, is out and Books Two and Three (Take Another Pill and How Many Pills Did You Take?) will be out in spring/summer of 2014 (published by Whimsical Publications). It’s a comedic romp in the near future. Kind of like in the tradition of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but featuring twenty-first century concerns.
I also have a set of short stories going up on Kindle Direct called The Flower City Chronicles. The first one is up and is called Make It Stop. Hopefully by the time you see this, I’ll have another one up there. These have a more serious tone to them.
In the pipeline I’ve got a romance novella that is basically done and a time-traveling novel near completion.
2. How does my work fit into the cli-fi genre?
I just about fell over myself trying to put the cli-fi label on my work. It’s not only catchy but spot-on for stories like mine!
Grumbles is a different kind of story. It has a specific world-building platform to it so when you open it up you have to read for a bit to understand what’s going on. Because of that, I’ve been struggling over how to give the reader the necessary tools to understand it, to categorize what I was doing—yes, it was SF sort of and yes it was environmental fiction but that sounds so heavy and preachy—and by the way, why isn’t Bill McGibben talking about all the great cli-fi fiction coming down the pipeline—but with Grumbles, the entire premise of the book is that The Weatherman has taken control of the weather and turned every single day 72 and sunny. Think about where that will take you. Throw in a little fracking, a few invasive species, water issues (and with climate change what isn’t a water issue?), some food politics, an authorial penchant for puns and word play, topped off with a heroine named Pettie Grumbles, and you have a laugh track that goes on for miles. Seriously. Miles. All the way to Canada kind of miles.
The Flower City Chronicles is a different type of story. Darker and more somber in tone, yet again in the near future, where the climate has changed. It no longer rains in Flower City. The water is polluted and industry has gone elsewhere leaving a devastated environment and the people have little opportunity to flourish. That’s the background for all the stories in the series. Again, as soon as you start to read it, it speaks to the environmental quagmires of today’s world and extrapolates them to their logical conclusion. These are what I call “moment in time” stories. If everything remains the same, this is where we’ll be.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I write about these things because in my estimation, these are the most pressing issues of our day. Climate change to me is really about water. Who’s going to have it; who will not. Where it goes and where it won’t go. Oceans heating up. I can go on about the intertwined nature of the two, but the one thing we know for isure is that we can’t live without water. We’ve been allowing a small group to profit from the natural resources of our planet and our current way of life is killing everything. If that isn’t something to write about, what is?
I write about these things because humans need story. It is a way of organizing experience, of connecting with people, and fiction can reach people in ways that real life and serious journalism can’t. That’s why I’ve written Grumbles in a kind of light-hearted, satiric way and then the more serious, more elegiac Flower City pieces. There are many ways to come at the same thing.
4. How does my writing process work?
Process? Sit down and write. After that, edit. And just like the shampoo bottle says, repeat daily.